- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday the federal government will mobilize doctors, nurses and technical staff to help Arizona manage the rampant spread of the coronavirus.

Mr. Pence said Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, requested 500 medical workers during their meeting in Phoenix.

“Help is on the way,” Mr. Pence told reporters at the airport.

Arizona on Wednesday reported 4,878 cases and 88 deaths from the previous day, both of which are single-day highs for the state.

More than one-fifth of tests in the state are coming back positive, suggesting widespread transmission in a swing state that President Trump would like to win again this November.

Mr. Pence said hospital capacity in the state “remains manageable,” though it will send personnel.

“We’re going to make sure Arizona has whatever it takes,” Mr. Pence said.

Arizona’s surge is part of a broader trend across the Sun Belt, with Florida, Texas and California also seeing major spikes, underscoring the perils of reopening the economy before the virus is tamed.

Mr. Pence said the White House supports Mr. Ducey’s decision to close bars and gyms and limit large gatherings. Multiple governors are retreating on their reopening plans after Mr. Trump, hoping for better economic numbers, had pushed for a “transition to greatness.”

The vice president urged Arizonans to do their part by wearing a mask “when indicated by state and local authorities or when social distancing is not possible.”

“The more we all do and to support the public health measures that have been put into effect, the faster we can get Arizona’s economy growing and get kids back to school,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Ducey praised the administration for heeding state requests.

“The answer has been ‘yes’ and with urgency,” he said. “Our message is clear in terms of where Arizona is today. You are safer at home. We want to slow the spread of this virus and protect the most vulnerable.”

Mr. Pence visited Dallas for an update from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday, and is scheduled to meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday.

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